Infinite Garden Blog


August 15, 2011

Garlic, garlic, everywhere

Filed under: Uncategorized — Larry @ 6:55 am

Looks like we’re about to start the yearly garlic cleaning. The “stinking rose” as some call it, was harvested from the fields about a month ago. We have quite a bit drying in our barn on racks as well as in our neighbor’s barn. Now comes the fun part! I use to sit and clean the stuff while seated on a hay wagon, meditating while listening to the radio in the shade of the barn in late August. It was very soothing and peaceful. That was back when garlic was only a prince. Now it’s king and we’ve got it in every spare nook to be found. So we decided we needed help. Thus the advent of the Garlic Cleaning Pary! Anyone that’s willing to show up and clean for a few hours is treated to pizza, beer, lots of laughs, music, an occational toss in the pool, and of course, GARLIC! We roast several varieties then spread the pungent stuff on French bread and critique our harvest. Usually, the party goes into the night with little garlic being cleaned past the itital couple of hours but we do get a few hundred pounds cleaned and everyone has a great end of the summer blowout!
Don’t forget to come see us at the Countryside Farmers Mkt. every Sat., from 9 ’til noon at Howe Meadow in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

August 3, 2011

To Everything There is a Season

Filed under: Uncategorized — Larry @ 6:46 am

It looks like it’s been some time since our last post. So much has happened in a little less than a year. Where can I start? Yes, we are still farming. It’s been a tough year. Our much loved brother-in-law passed to the other side after a very long struggle with ALS. What a devastating disease. He knew up to the very end that his body could no longer function but his mind was just as alert as ever. We all had been friends and relatives for over 40 years. A much loved and very close cousin passed next. We had not seen him for two years and had no idea he was coping with Pancreatic cancer. In less than two weeks after the diagnosis he was gone from us. We miss his humor and his interest in all things. He was more like a brother to us.
There were many moves this year. No, we are still in Litchfield but the kids have graduated and moved from one apartment to another. Or taken new jobs in other cities across the nation which, if you are a parent ALWAYS involves you either physically or monetarily! But it’s all good. Then of course there was the cold, drizzly spring. This is the time of year when most gardeners/farmers look forward to new birth in the soil. This year we all had to wait a bit. It took some time but all in all we are catching up. The garden somehow always gets in and the harvest somehow always is made. Large or small, it’s like the loaves and fishes. There is always enough. Right now the garlic is drying in the barn waiting the annual “Luschek Garlic Cleaning Party!” Seems like word has gotten around with the help of our nephew, Mike Hemery’s first book,
No Permanent Scars, to be on the “A” list for this event! It’s lots of dirty, stinky work. For some reason good friends and relatives make it a fun day.
Our great Medina Co. Fair opened this week also. So don’t miss out on the cotton candy, waffles, tractor pulls, animals, all the sights and sounds (and smells) of a good old fashion county fair if you’re out this way.
All the trials, sorrows and disappointments give way to good times as well. We will miss our departed relatives sorely but focusing on all the good that is gleaned each morning as we rise, gives way to new seasons of growth and thankfulness. We are taught through death there is life. Just as a seed grows, we too grew from nothing, passed through this earthly phase and returned to dust, as plants grow flourish and become one with the earth when the harvest is over. To everything there is a season.
Don’t forget to visit us at the Countryside Farmers Market on Saturdays from 9 ‘til noon. Over 50 vendors; eggs, chickens, produce, soap, honey, coffee, and so much more. Don’t let the summer slip by with out coming on down to the Cuyahoga National Park’s Countryside Farmers Market!

October 23, 2010

October Skies

Filed under: Uncategorized — Larry @ 4:17 am

It doesn’t seem that long ago that the soybeans in the local fields were just turning copper brown. The corn stalks were standing straight and tall like soldiers going into battle just waiting for the International Havester or the John Deere combine to mow them down. With such dry weather around here, the farmers have been able to harvest both the soy beans and the corn. Sometimes the corn stands for months while the earth freezes hard for harvesting but not this year. The fields around our place are barren now. The combines have taken their toll. The harvest has been hauled off in gravity wagons or semis to the elevator or the grain bins. Now begins the fitting of the soil for next year. Very often it is laid fallow or planted with winter wheat. The skies have been mostly a clear blue azure for the most part this October. It has been a mild fall. At night old Orion is becoming more and more the dominate fixture in the sky, fortelling of winter just around the corner. Our wood is stacked on the patio in the back, thanks to a great friend, Greg. The larder is getting full as well as the freezer. Hunkering down and putting up stores for the long winter nights.
Markets continue at Howe Meadow for a few more weeks when after that they will be indoors at Old Trail School, not far from Howe Meadow. See Countryside Farmers Market for further times. Take advantage of the plethera of the harvest from many vendors at the market. Come celebrate autumn!

September 12, 2010

Into the Fields

Filed under: Uncategorized — Larry @ 3:41 am

This time of year always reminds me of a hymn by Dan Schutte, S.J. taken here from Glory and Praise, 1984.

The fields are high and summer’s days are few; green fields have turned to gold.
The time is here for the harvesting, for gathering home into barns.
The seeds were sown by other hands than yours; nurtured and cared for they grew.
But those who have sown will not harvest them; the reaping will not be their care.
The harest is plenty; laborers are few.
Come with me into the fields.
Your arms may grow weary; your shoes will wear thin… Come with me into the fields……

Come to the Howe Meadow in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park to partake of the bounty of the fields every Saturday from 9 ’til noon.

August 23, 2010

Tomato Time

Filed under: Uncategorized — Larry @ 12:06 am

If I wasn’t mistaken, I felt a bit of cool crispness in the wind this morning; hints of autumn? The calendar says August but already the crops are saying “harvest.” That can only mean one thin. Fall is on its way. Late summer titillates the senses with the aroma of fresh cut hay lying on the fields. The leaves have already started to fall from our nut trees, always the first leaves of spring and the first to fall. The sounds of school buses dotting the roadways takes me back to many of my first days back behind the desk. I remember lying in bed the night before school started in September after summer vacation, listening to the crickets chirp and feeling very anxious. What room am I in? What will my teacher be like? Will my new shoes hurt after going barefoot all summer? Later on; will I remember my lock combination? All the questions were resolved within 24 hours. Just as nature takes its course and summer bursts into the brilliant colors of fall, the cycle of the year continue. The cycle of life goes on.

This week the needed rains brought a collective *sigh* from the crops. It will be tomato tasting day at the market on Saturday. Among other varieties we will have First Lady, Nyagous, Estiva, Dafel, Green Zebra, Black Zebra, Valencia and Paragon to taste. We also have a list of the different varieties of cherry tomatoes that are available in case you are interested. It seems those lovely little sweeter than sweet yellow Autumn Golds are fast becoming everyone’s favorite cherry tomato. Eggplant, French Fingerling potatoes, green peppers, red cabbage, Acorn Squash and Basil will also be available for sale. Our onions are out of the ground and cooling their heels in our barn for about another week or so but should be ready very soon. We hope to see you at the Countryside Farmers Market held at Howe Meadow in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park every Saturday from 9-noon. Come to the market and taste the fullness of the season in Ohio’s official fruit, the brilliant, luscious, tomato!

August 16, 2010

Garden Party

Filed under: Uncategorized — Larry @ 11:24 pm

Saturday was our annual garlic cleaning party! We promise pizza, beer, and garlic tasting in exchange for a few hours of clipping and cleaning of garlic. The annual event has morphed into more food, drinks, and music, sometimes followed by a dip (wanted or not) in our small pool! This year Mother Nature decided we all should have a good drenching as the heavens opened up just as we began cleaning out under the shade of our old oak tree. We scattered to the barn just in time as the wind and rain whipped up into a full fledge storm. Needless to say, we spent the rest of the day cleaning in the cramped quarters of the barn surrounded by garlic on all sides! I think, all in all, a good time was had by all and we managed to clean 165 lbs. of Music, Bogatyr, and German X-tra Hardy.
A great big THANK YOU goes out to Greg & Jann, Kathy, Marci, Alan, and Dana for all their help.

This weeks market selections will include but not limited to garlic, (Music, Bogatyr, German X-tra Hardy, and Georgian Fire), Beets, Chard, Fingerlings, tons of all shades of red and yellow cherry tomatoes, egg plant, Basil, mint, parsley and new this week, Acorn Squash! Can fall be far off? We’ll have to check on our lip-smacking lettuce, as well, to see if anything is ready for market yet. This weekend should be the perfect weather weekend to join us at the Countryside Farmers Market at Howe Meadow in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park from 9-noon. See you at the market!

August 11, 2010

New Arrival

Filed under: Uncategorized — Larry @ 11:42 pm

Well, we did go to the fair and we did look at tractors and we did take the plunge and buy a brand, spanking new MF 1533 series from a great guy, James Kieferr of Kiefer Equipment. It’s beautiful! Don’t get me wrong our old Massey gave us 32 years of service. There were times when there was a lot of swearing going on when something or another would break down in the middle of something that HAD to be done yesterday. All in all, it was a work horse of a tractor. Kind of hard to see it go but it’s time for her to retire. We bought her used when we first came out to Litchfield. At first she was not only used in the garden but we used the brush hog to cut grass before we had a rider. She furrowed potatoes and fitted the soil. With the aide of a box hitched to the back we hauled wood. During the winder months out here you need something substantial to plow snow and she did that too without too much hesitation. Thanks for a job well done, Massey. We’re looking forward to the delivery of our new arrival this afternoon. This sweetheart has a front-end loader on it making these old bones rejoice. Of course this wouldn’t have been made possible without some financial help. Mom passed on earlier this year. She was a great woman from a big family that loved to play cards, party, can, bake and cook. She loved the garden and everything that went with it. Dementia consumed this lovely woman at the age of 89. She is at peace now. She left us a very small inheritance which has enabled us to afford this tractor without going into too much debt. She would have loved to see Massey II. Thanks Mom.

This week those luscious cherry tomatoes are here by the bushel! The eggplant, both the Fairytale and those lovely large, deep purple/black ones, are available (here’s a great tasting easy recipe ). Also, tomatoes, beets, green peppers and Fingerlings are ready. Garlic varieties ready for market this week will be Music, Bogatyr, and Georgian Fire. Other varieties, also, if we can get them cleaned. Basil, dill, and parsley will be waiting to put the final garnish on any of your dishes, as well. Spend what’s left of this wonderful summer with us at the Countryside Farmers Market at Howe Meadow in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park every Saturday from 9-noon. Ask us to see pictures of our new “arrival!”

August 3, 2010

Fair Enough

Filed under: Uncategorized — Larry @ 6:06 am

It is fair time here in Medina County (Aug.1-8), the time of the year when everyone can show off the fruits (literally and figuratively) of their labor. Medina County Fair is over 164 years old; one of the largest and oldest fairs in the state. Farmers, bakers, sewers, artisans, collectors, and youth bring out the best they have for judging at our fair. Baked goods, collections, art work, canning, sewing, flowers, antiques, you name it you can find it at the fair. Of course we have the mandatory farm animal, veggie, fruit and hay judging. Medina, home of the A.I. Root Co., has an extensive exhibit and competition of honey. Our kids came to love looking for the Queen bee in the glass enclosed hive at the honey booth. Medina County also touts an outstanding youth fair, as well. Our kids, like thousands across the county, belonged to 4-H. I remember well, taking our son to demonstrate his skill with a pet rabbit and our daughter took along her gerbil and gardening project. However, these were just a few of the hundreds of projects that 4-H has to offer. Mathew went to state fair with his photography project one year and Kathleen managed to demonstrate her expertise on a bicycle at the Ohio State Fair another. If the kids are looking for some summer fun and you want to keep them busy, check out your local 4-H clubs through the Ohio State Extension Service. Medina County is also the number one horse county in the country per capita so be sure to experience the fine job all our horse clubs do at the horse shows during the entire week. The kids are amazing on those animals.

In my youth I would spend every day at the fair with friends and family taking in the sights and sounds of late-summer. Come join us at the fair. We’ll be there looking at tractors as our old MF tractor, Massey Ferguson that is, is about worn out beyond repair. A new one is presently beyond our means but we can always “window shop.”

Those beautiful lavender striped Fairytale eggplant are ready! I’m licking my lips just thinking about them! I love those cherry tomatoes; juicy red tidbits, ready to pop into your mouth like candy will also be at the market this week. The cucumbers, pickles and green peppers are ready to make their debut, as well. Of course the long awaited garlic is ready along with our French Fingerlings, basil and lettuce. As always; Countryside Farmers Market is at Howe Meadow (formerly called the Special Events Site) is located on the west side of Riverview Road, 4 miles south of State Route 303 in Cuyahoga Falls in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Saturdays from 9-noon. Hope to see you at the market and the fair!

July 26, 2010

Six Weeks ‘Til the First Frost?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Larry @ 8:22 am

The Cicadas have heralded the beginning of the end. It is deep summertime here in Ohio. Temperatures hovered, no they were STUCK in the nineties for most of the week. No longer is there freshness to the morning air or that vibrant green of early summer. I had an older friend who had grown up in Kentucky. He fit the description of John Denver’s “Country Boy” perfectly. He grew up poor and lived close to the land. He was a walking “Farmer’s Almanac” of stories and folk lore. He swore when you heard the first chirping of the Cicada, that meant the first frost was only six weeks away. He kept me laughing with a myriad of tales of his boyhood in the woods of his native state. He was 18 when he brought his new bride of 14 to Ohio to live. God rest his soul. He was a hard worker and a good man. We will see if the Cicadas and old Dan were right.
This week we should have eggplant ready and perhaps some pickles and Zucchini. Of course tomatoes, Yukon Golds, French Fingerlings, basil, and beets will be on hand at the market. We may have some chard, beans and a few early onions left also. Fresh Music, Bogatyr, Georgian Fire and German Extra Hardy garlic will be ready for sale, also. We have several other varieties that will be “on tap” soon; Chesnok Red, Korean Red, Polish Hard Neck and my favorite, Romanian Red. We love to give the market an international flare!
Countryside Farmers Market is every Saturday from 9 to noon at Howe Meadow in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Come join the 40 plus vendors for an enjoyable morning. There is something for everyone and all local!

July 19, 2010

Summertime

Filed under: Uncategorized — Larry @ 8:10 pm

Well, it is definitely summertime here on the farm. Everything seems to be growing ahead of schedule although the earlier rains did cut back on some of the planting time. The garlic is out of the ground and drying in the barns and should be ready in a few weeks after our annual “garlic cleaning” party, that is! The spring lettuce is done and the second planting is not quite ready. I’m salivating right now thinking about the eggplant and zucchini that will be ready soon as well as bushels of cherry tomatoes. Right now we are a bit between crops but we still have beets, basil, tomatoes, some beans, Yukon Gold and French Fingerling potatoes good to go.
Markets are on Saturdays from 9-noon at Howe Meadow in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, a beautiful venue. Countryside Farmers Market Countryside Farmers Market has 40 to 50 vendors selling lamb, bison, flowers, veggies, soups, bread, soaps, chickens, eggs, beef, cheeses, etc. Oh and don’t forget the croissants! This is a producers market, meaning everything that is sold must be grown or made by the person selling it. Talk about LOCAL!